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carnavilI am having a bad day.  And strangely it has nothing to do with the disease.  I am having a normal bad day; bank account looking scary, child forgot book bag, boss on my ass.  Such normal sucky things, that I find for the most kind of reassuring.  It means that my act, my desire to appear normal may be working.

I know intellectually that people with bi-polar disease have bad days; and the days that are disappointing or stressful don’t have to do with how much medicine I am taking or where on the rainbow scale my feelings are.  They are just the products of life.  The effects of the causes.

But there is a sort of harmony in what I imagine is the normal.  I am not normal; but to have a day that I can share with a sister without worrying about the consequences is unique in my world.  The tough day I am having is so normal that it actually doesn’t upset me.  There are times I crave normal, I crave a life without medicine and darkness; I crave the very thing that would make others sweat.

Normal isn’t a word I get to use very often.  In fact, I have gotten so use to the question asked of me, “What is normal?” that I resent it as some sort of trap.  I will never be a soccer mom or a Girl Scout Troop leader (mostly because I have no desire to be those things).  I will never not need medication, or hate the fact that I have to live with it.  I will never know if tomorrow I am going to be high or low, although there is no doubt that I will be one or the other, since I can’t be that normal.

When I was young(er) all I wanted was normal.  And all I got was that stupid question.  But these days I think of normal as this: waking up with the alarm, going about my day with a little anger, a little happiness, some joy; then going home to my child, cooking dinner, taking care of the myriad chores that always pile up.  These are the things I crave.  Instead my day either starts out with me popping out of bed, or hitting the snooze five times; I am either happy to be at work or wish I didn’t actually have to speak and could pretend to have laryngitis, getting home and either falling so deep in a book to escape my abnormal life, or just heading to bed.

There is no consistency in my life, which is frustrating.  There is no magic in my life, which is disappointing.  There is no freedom in my life, which is simply wrong.  My life and all my actions are dictated to an extent that one can point to the exact cause for any of my effects.  Was it the medicine, was it the lack of space, was it the forced interaction of people?

I spoke in my last post about not wanting to take my meds.  I confess, even when I take them I don’t want to.  Or when I look at that full bottle I wonder if I should just take them all.  There is a desire to go from one extreme to the other, and that desire is felt together.  Sink or swim, soar or fall, live or die.  That is my normal.

I have this fantasy in my head about what my normal could be.  If I simply stopped taking those cursed drugs, I have an exact picture of what it could be.  It could be my normal; periods of true darkness, followed by those amazing rays of light.  Sadness followed by depression, followed by a strange floating feeling, followed by ecstasy; or vice versa.  It could be seeing a beautiful sunset and being able to pick out the colors, it could be feeling the wind in my hair and knowing it is more than just my imagination.  It could be soaring within the stories I have buried in my heart, and the evil that I know as intimately as I know my child.

It could be so much real, than the reality I am forced to love. It could be my own slice of that traveling carnival.